5 lessons I learned covering same-sex marriage at the Supreme Court

The start of this week was a whirlwind of press conferences, photo opportunities and historic court arguments for me as I covered the Supreme Court in action for the first time. I’ve been a full-time reporter since 1999, and while my career has led me to Instanbul and Tokyo and Paris and Belize, I’d never been to our nation’s Capitol, much less granted a seat for one of the most historic high court arguments of the generation. I was there Tuesday, April 28, as the justices listened to...

First signing is in the books!

Today I'm recovering from a four-day road trip to Minneapolis -- with an 11-month-old boy in tow, no less -- where I met up with David Batcher for our first-ever book signing. The response we're getting for the book is humbling. I'm incredibly appreciative and hopeful that we can get the word out about our work. The Kennedy women we highlighted are fascinating, and I think our approach is accessible to introduce them to a new generation. Here are some photos of the big night, courtesy of...

Kennedy Wives has arrived!

I remember reading author interviews when I was younger and being dubious when the scribe likened his or her latest book release to birthing a child. I am in perfect position to judge that analogy this year: In December 2013, I delivered my first son. In June 2014, my latest true crime hit bookstores. And this week, one year after the birth of my boy, my first hardcover -- The Kennedy Wives: Triumph and Tragedy in America's Most Public Family -- is making its nationwide debut. I assure...

I get bored with predictability, so after three true-crime books, I switched it up for Book No. 4: It's a non-fiction biography about the Kennedy wives. I also didn't work alone this time. David Batcher, with whom I went to high school, signed on under the guise of helping me research, but by the time the book proposal was finished, I realized I wanted more than just his behind-the-scenes help, so I enlisted him as a coauthor. It was a brilliant decision. David was one of those annoying,...

The Tyler Hadley case

He stood behind her, a hammer clenched in his hand. He was silent, and she was oblivious. The hammer’s handle was smooth in his palm. He stared at her as she typed absentmindedly on the family computer. He was still for a long time and he held the hammer at his side as he eyed his mother’s head. -- So goes the first paragraph in my third true crime book, See How Much You Love Me. It was a difficult story to tell -- one about a boy whose parents did all the right things in trying to...

Effin' Matt Power

A few weeks ago, a good friend of mine died. I didn't get to know him long, but I had the privilege of knowing him pretty damn well. Matthew Power had been a colleague whom I got to know during my stint as a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan (2010-2011). It was a tight-knit clan that spent hours together crammed in buses and seminar halls and on airplanes. We traveled the globe together, visiting Argentina, Brazil and Turkey. A lot has been written about Matt since he died...

Learning from Love

Yeardley Love was no shrinking violet. The truth will come out about the University of Virginia lacrosse star, the young woman whose piercing blue eyes peered out to millions from magazine covers, newspaper pages and television reports. We will all learn that though her name has become synonymous with domestic and dating violence—due in no small part to the allegation that her lacrosse-playing boyfriend beat her to death in a violent rage just weeks before they were to graduate—the...

About Amber Hunt

Amber Hunt is an award-winning journalist who works for the Cincinnati Enquirer as an investigative reporter. She previously covered crime for the Detroit Free Press and the Dakotas for The Associated Press and was a 2011 Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan. She's written three true-crime books: Dead but Not Forgotten, All-American Murder and See How Much You Love Me, and is co-author of the upcoming The Kennedy Wives: Triumph and Tragedy in America's Most Public...

From bad crimes to badlands …

In the past few months, I’ve left my Michigan home and headed to South Dakota, where I’m now the news editor for both Dakotas. It’s a fascinating job in a land I had never even visited, much less considered calling home. So far, it’s been a revelation. The area is rich with news; my goal is to help mine it out.

All-American Murder has been out for more than a month now, and I’ve had a lot of positive response from people sending their thoughts and prayers to the families of both Yeardley Love and Morgan Harrington, another young woman who died in Charlottesville, Va., near the University of Virginia campus in 2010. (Morgan was actually killed the previous fall, but for record-keeping purposes, her death is tallied in the year that her body was discovered.)

It’s been a heartwarming response. I’m also criticized for writing a book pretrial, which is fair. I don’t consider this book a typical true crime. Really, very few of the books that are released prior to a verdict or plea can be considered complete. For me, I’d decided early on that I would focus as much on the issues surrounding the crime as on the details of the crime itself. I didn’t want to ultimately publish something salacious that simply repeated already-published news accounts over and over again. Of course, some news accounts are in there — the Washington Post did a tremendous job covering the case early on, and some of their reporting simply couldn’t be improved upon — but I spent more time exploring the issue that drew me to the case in the first place: domestic violence.

That in itself has become controversial in connection with the Love slaying, a reality that I write about in the book. Domestic violence has long been an important subject to me, one that I’ve encountered countless times as a crime reporter. Anyway, I almost feel like my book is under the wrong heading in the bookstores. It’s more than a true crime. It’s an issues book. I heard from one reader that she’d be sharing the book with her high school-aged daughter. That alone made the months and months of grueling research and writing worthwhile.

Incidentally, I’m donating a portion of proceeds to DV-focused charities. These types of books are far more labors of love than paychecks — if the latter were true, I’d consider giving up the 9-5 and buy a little house in Belize — but in honor of the countless victims out there, many of whom will never be immortalized in writing, I want to do my little part to help.

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